PRESS RELEASE – NASCAR: An American Salute Launches with 600 Miles of Remembrance
NASCAR: An American Salute Launches with 600 Miles of Remembrance
Sport to Honor Fallen Service Members with Windshield Tribute at Coca-Cola 600
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 18, 2015) — When NASCAR® drivers start their engines for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, fans will see familiar names like “Harvick,” “Kenseth” and “Almirola” replaced on car windshields with “SGT Mracek,” “HM3 Layton” and “CPT Argel” – United States Armed Forces members who have fallen in service to their country.
All 43 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers will participate in “600 Miles of Remembrance” on Memorial Day Weekend to honor military service members and their families, and commemorate the launch of NASCAR: An American Salute™, the industry’s collective expression of reverence, respect and gratitude for those who have served and continue to defend our nation today.
Fans can follow stories around the seven-week platform and share their personal expressions of thanks to the military using #NASCARSalutes on social media.
“The NASCAR community rallying to honor the U.S. Armed Forces, past and present, has long been part of our sport’s heritage,” said Brent Dewar, NASCAR chief operating officer. “As part of NASCAR: An American Salute, 600 Miles of Remembrance represents a special moment in time as we pay tribute to service members who have sacrificed dearly for our freedom.”
Many of the service members whose names will be displayed on the race cars were chosen by the teams, and some have unique connections to the fallen. Private Dean Van Dyke, who was killed in the Vietnam War, was a relative of No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing driver Greg Biffle. Army First Lieutenant Daniel Hyde, killed during Operation Iraqi Freedom, served alongside Chris Clayton, tire changer on the No. 83 BK Racing team.
Many of the families of the service members being recognized will be in attendance on Sunday, and will be introduced alongside the drivers during driver introductions. In addition, Charlotte Motor Speedway will host more than 6,000 active military members at the Coca-Cola 600 in honor of Memorial Day.
NASCAR: An American Salute will feature various on- and off-track activities from tracks, teams and partners that show appreciation and support for the troops, and will culminate Independence Day Weekend with the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.
This weekend, NASCAR together with Honor and Remember, Inc., will display specially prepared Honor and Remember flags representing those who have died in service to our country from each of the 50 United States throughout the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Throughout the campaign, NASCAR will host military families at each NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race as part of NASCAR Troops to the Track™ Presented by Bank of America.
Toyota will also honor the names of fallen service members on its pace cars for the Coca-Cola 600 as part of 600 Miles of Remembrance. Later in the program, both Chevrolet and Ford will feature patriotic branding on the pace cars for races at Pocono and Michigan, respectively.
Many NASCAR Official Partners have mobilized to support NASCAR: An American Salute with military-themed activations, including:
- For the sixth straight year, Goodyear is rallying NASCAR fans to support members of the U.S. Armed Forces through its “Goodyear Gives Back” charitable program benefitting the Support Our Troops® organization. To kick off the program, Goodyear will once again transform its NASCAR race tires by replacing the “Eagle” sidewall design with “Support Our Troops” messaging on all tires used during Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. This effort coincides with the May 21 launch of Goodyear’s charity auction at www.Goodyear.com/GivesBack, which features autographed NASCAR memorabilia, VIP race experiences and rides on the Goodyear Blimp.
- Bank of America is the presenting partner of NASCAR Troops to the Track – a season-long program that honors members of the military and their families for their services, and treats them to a NASCAR race experience. This program is an extension of Bank of America’s long-standing commitment to the military, focused on helping veterans and service members’ transition to civilian life.
- NASCAR, Coca-Cola, Mars Chocolate North America and 3M have collaborated to engage shoppers in over 180 military commissaries. On Tuesday, May 19, there will be all-day activation at Fort Bragg Commissary South featuring an appearance by Coca-Cola Racing Family Member Joey Logano, who will be giving away tickets to the Coca-Cola 600. From May 18 to July 8, commissary shoppers can enter the 2015 Champion’s Week Sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip to Las Vegas for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week by texting “NASCARSALUTE” to 313131 or by visitingwww.championsweek2015.com.
- M&M’s will introduce a national letter-writing campaign, in partnership with Operation Gratitude, encouraging fans to send messages of thanks and appreciation to military members. The notes will be included in more than 100,000 Operation Gratitude Care Packages which will be assembled and shipped to Troops deployed in harm’s way and to New Recruits upon their graduation from Boot Camp.
- During Daytona International Speedway’s Coke Zero 400, all active duty military, veterans and their families can enjoy the Troops Welcome Center Presented by M&M’s. The center, which will be located in the midway, will be fully equipped with food and beverages, allowing service members to take a break and meet NASCAR drivers throughout the weekend.
- In honor of the military, Miss Sprint Cup will wear NASCAR: An American Salute fire suits at the Coca-Cola 600 and Coke Zero 400.
This Sunday, NASCAR drivers will discuss 600 Miles of Remembrance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (channel 90) during a special military tribute show airing at 1 p.m. ET. The Dialed In Salute to the Troops special, hosted by Claire B. Lang, will feature interviews with several drivers as well as service men and service women from different branches of the military.
During the Coca Cola 600 pre-race broadcast (5:30 p.m. ET, FOX), FOX Sports will recognize all service members who have lost their lives in the past year by displaying their names and branch of service on a graphic scroll. This will be FOX’s fifth year in a row dedicating the pre-race show to service members that have fallen in the line of duty.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ Coca-Cola 600 will be broadcast live from Charlotte Motor Speedway at 6 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Additional live coverage can be found on NASCAR.com.
To learn more about NASCAR: An American Salute, visit www.NASCAR.com/Salute.
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